German vs. Turkestan Cockroach: What You Need to Know

May 13, 2024, 10:03 AM by Fred Speer

Multiple cockroach species can be found commercial properties, particularly restaurants, food service outlets in malls, airports and entertainment venues, and food processing plants. The most common species found in commercial properties is the German or American cockroach, but the Turkestan cockroach is making its presence known more around commercial properties.

While both German and Turkestan cockroaches are pests capable of causing problems for commercial property owners and managers, their differences in size, appearance, habitat preferences and behavior, make them distinct species with unique characteristics.

Size and Appearance

  • German cockroaches are smaller in size, typically ranging from 1/2 to 5/8 inch in length. They are light brown to tan in color, with two dark stripes running lengthwise behind their head.
  • Turkestan cockroaches are larger, with adults reaching up to 1 inch in length. They are darker in color compared to German cockroaches, ranging from brown to black, and have a shiny appearance.

Behavior and Reproduction

  • Both species are known for their rapid reproduction rates, but German cockroaches are notorious for their ability to quickly infest indoor spaces due to their preference for human habitats and their ability to reproduce rapidly in warm, humid conditions.
  • Turkestan cockroaches typically have a slower reproductive rate compared to German cockroaches and are less likely to become as widespread indoors, but they can still be a nuisance when they invade outdoor spaces around commercial properties.

Habitat Preferences

  • German cockroaches prefer warm, humid environments and are commonly found indoors, particularly in commercial kitchens, furnace rooms, motor compartments of food processing machinery, bathrooms, and other areas with access to food and water.
  • Turkestan cockroaches are more adaptable to various environments. While they can also be found indoors in similar areas as German cockroaches, they are more commonly found outdoors in areas with moderate temperatures, such as gardens, mulch beds, and around buildings.

Preventing Cockroaches in Commercial Properties

Why is effective cockroach prevention so critical for commercial properties, especially those involved with food service and processing, healthcare and education facilities? The bottom line is cockroaches are purveyors of filth.

Cockroaches can contaminate food with bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that they pick up while crawling through unsanitary areas such as sewers and garbage dumps. They can carry and spread diseases, such as salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious health problems in humans if ingested. In addition, their droppings and shed skin can trigger allergic reactions in people, especially those with asthma.

Preventing cockroaches in commercial properties involves a multi-tiered approach that includes sanitation, exclusion, and regular inspections.

Maintain Cleanliness

  • Keep the premises clean, especially in areas where food is prepared or stored.
  • Remove food debris and spills promptly.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Empty garbage bins regularly and keep them clean.

Eliminate Hiding Places

  • Declutter storage areas and remove unused items.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Repair leaky pipes and faucets to eliminate water sources.


  • Install door sweeps and weather stripping to seal gaps around doors and windows.
  • Use screens on windows and vents to prevent entry.
  • Seal openings around utility pipes and ducts.

Regular Inspections

  • Conduct regular inspections for signs of cockroach activity, such as droppings, egg cases, or live insects.
  • Address any issues promptly to prevent infestations from becoming established.

Employee Training

  • Educate employees on the importance of cleanliness and proper food storage.
  • Encourage them to report any signs of pest activity promptly.

    Monitor and Maintain

    • Keep track of pest activity and adjust your prevention strategies as needed.
    • Maintain a proactive approach to prevent future infestations.

      Consult a Pest Control Professional

  • Consider hiring a pest control professional to conduct a thorough inspection and design a IPM-based pest control program for the facility.


Clark Pest Control – Commercial Pest Solution Experts

If you are looking for a pest management partner that understands your business and can help your company create an effective year-around pest management program, give Clark Pest Control a call at (800) 936-3339.